The Future of Marketing?

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I was having a conversation with my husband about content marketing earlier this week and was having trouble nailing the definition. Kudos to B2B strategist Michael Brenner for nailing it (along with Ann Handley)

“We are seeing a shift away from paid promotion, through earned (social) media and into owned media. Branded content hubs. Where the brand becomes the platform for storytelling. But takes the brand out of the story. Makes the customers the hero.”

As more types of paid posts become available on social channels (particularly those touting cheap reach), it can be easy to forget about engagement as main differentiator. It’s especially tricky when we try to squeeze the brand health metric of “Brand Awareness” into the SM analytics. When I worked on Unilever brands’ social business, the question they used to determine if a program or concept had merit was incredibly direct: Why Care. So simple, right? But, so important.

It’s a mantra i’ve kept with me and I encourage you to do the same. Make the customer care. If you can, make them the hero (a concept that’s been around for ages but still doesn’t get enough air time). The line between customer and brand will blur and that’s the real sweet spot.